GE Healthcare ®
If you’ve ever tried to keep a child completely still, especially if they are sick, hurting or scared, you can imagine the challenge faced by the Radiology department. Now some of these challenges are gone due to the purchase of faster equipment that also provides outstanding image quality.
Every year, an estimated 50 million CT scans are performed in the United States. We perform more than 20,000 CT scans at Children's annually on infants, children, and teenagers.
Children’s newest piece of equipment, the GE 64-slice VCT scanner, offers state-of-the art technology and Children’s is the first pediatric hospital in the Southeast to offer VCT scanner capabilities.
The 64-slice CT for children allows the radiologist to obtain high quality images in less than 10 seconds. The speed of this scanner is especially valuable to pediatric patients. With older, slower scanners, many children need to be sedated because they are unable to hold still or are in pain when asked to hold certain positions for more than a few seconds. With the new VCT scanner, if a child can be coached to hold still for 5 to 10 seconds, the technologist can get clear images without sedation, reducing the amount of time spent at the hospital.
Available at both Children’s at Egleston and Children’s at Scottish Rite, the 64-slice CT scanners allow easier access with a lower table height for pediatric patients. The child-friendly scanners also have an automated dose reduction feature to assist in the reduction of radiation exposure. Additionally, radiologists at Children’s are experts in making adjustments to our 64-slice CT scan protocols so that the radiation dose is significantly reduced compared to adult studies.
Why a 64-Slice CT Scan?
The computer image from 64-slice CT scan for children allows healthcare professionals to shade, rotate, correlate and measure different slices of the image. From a 64-slice CT scan, doctors can determine each layer and often any abnormalities within it—making it much clearer than a regular X-ray.
With the 64-slice CT system, doctors at Children’s are able to capture images of a beating heart in five heartbeats, an organ in one second and perform whole body trauma scans in 10 seconds, more than twice as fast as conventional multi-slice CT scanners. This speed is especially helpful in reducing sedation time and shortening breath holds for pediatric patients.
What Happens During a 64-Slice CT Scan?
- The child is placed on a table. The table then moves the patient through the gantry (the doughnut-shaped device), which houses an X-ray tube and detector array—a small device that measures the thickness of the body in order to adjust the system for better image quality.
- For each image, the X-ray tube rotates around the patient and the X-rays pass through the patient to the detector array. Thousands of X-ray measurements are taken—like slices of bread from a whole loaf. The word "slice" is often used to describe one image of the patient. With a 64-slice VCT scan, there are 64 images taken compared to 16 images with other CT scanners.
- This 64-slice imaging technique allows doctors to examine hundreds to thousands of pictures of the organ or tissue more clearly because the body part is not "hidden" behind or beneath other organs or tissue. The computer displays the pictures on a computer screen, where doctors can move them and study the different views for often a more accurate diagnosis.